Patricia Wright learning new things

Friday, January 21, 2005
Patricia Wright and her instructor, Betsy Sylvester. (photo provided)

Patricia Wright, oldest daughter of Helen and the late Floyd Wright, spent her first 56 years in Manila. She moved to Smithton, Mo., in 1999.

Patricia is learning new things most people take for granted. She has been non-verbal her entire life. She started speech therapy in Warrensburg, Mo., at Central Missouri State University three years ago. There, she enhanced her sign language vocabulary and learned to say "mom," "bye" and "hi." After several attempts at other verbalizations, Ms. Wright was evaluated for an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. She went through several hours of testing and was matched with a Dynavox Dynamyte. From there,she spent several weeks working with a graduate student in speech-language pathology.

They met for one hour three times a week. Through this training, she has learned to communicate with others in her family and community. Now, instead of having others talk for her, Ms. Wright can let people know how she is doing, what she wants, and where she would like to go.

She and her mother moved to Smithton to be closer to her sister, Judy Manning, and husband Mike, along with niece, Shelley Meinershagen, husband Greg and son Chase.

Ms. Wright currently lives independently next door to her sister, Judy. Mrs. Wright currently resides in the Four Seasons Living Center in Sedalia, Mo.

Family still residing in Manila include sister Lisa Holt and husband Chris, nephew Jeremy Ballard, and son Zachary, and niece Stephanie McMinn. Her sister Kathy Crawford and husband Charlie reside in Sanford, N.C., their children, Kelley, and husband Paul, and son Jonathon, Lori, Jennifer and son Tylin, reside in Cadiz, Ky.

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